Hello Everybody, I'd appreciate some advice. Is it a good time to get into plastering?

#1
Hi all,

Firstly I have had some good laughs reading some of the older posts and replies, some very artistic people amongst you...LOL

We are based in Slough Berkshire and are currently facing an inevitable decision about which way to go. My son is working in the leisure industry as a go-cart racing track marshal, no surprises if you guessed he's on crap money and zero hours, frankly we've had enough and needs some insight. I suggested plastering, but would hate myself by giving him a bum steer, out of the frying pan and into the fire!

Getting a lot of mixed messages about plastering, he's fit and is good with manual labour tasks. We seen lots of training centers offering courses etc, but what the big question is, is whether or not he can find anyone to take him on to gain experience after the training and to what level should he aim for before offering himself for work.

All the best,

Joseph.
 

JessThePlasterer

Well-Known Member
#2
Hi Joe

How old is your son? Plastering has it's pros and cons like anything else. Start when you're young and be prepared to spend a long time learning and from the bottom up money wise. But very rewarding to work for yourself and see the results of your efforts everyday. He could try finding someone to labour on for a day for free and see if it's something he'd like to pursue? All the best
 

johniosaif

Private Member
#3
Best to get on site ,labour with a plasterer for a while ,see if he likes the work ,likes what can be achieved,it's hard work
 
#4
Good evening gents, your comments are much appreciated.

My son is 28, so it's a late start for sure. To be honest, he's fed up of dead end low paying un-secure jobs.

Basically were holding our heads wondering which way to turn.. I was trying to encourage him to get in to HGV driving, but he's not keen on that sadly. I read many threads here and it sounds a bit bleak tbh, with the occasional success story. So things arent much clearer.

Do you know anyone around the slough area which he could approach for a couple of days work experience?

Thanks.
 

Bagrat

Active Member
#5
Joe same as above on the off chance maybe get him to practice in your house ?probaly be cheaper alternative than expensive course.
 

Stevieo

Well-Known Member
#6
OOhhhh... I know the answer to this!

Short answer is probably not the most amazing of jobs.

I got on with a plastering firm during the summer on a semi skilled/improver basis. That is to say that I can plaster to the standard but I'm a little bit slow and perhaps not *quite* to be trusted not to run into trouble if faced with something tricky on my own.

I didn't really mind the less than brilliant money. Or the hard graft. £80/day.

The hours were a killer though, out of the house for 0615 to meet up 0700-0715 for dispersal to sites for 0800. Finish at 5 at the earliest and home for 1800 or later.

The problem was that the fully qualified men were on pretty crap money too. Boss was charging £120 per man per day and paying £100. Don't forget that there's vans and fuel to be taking out of that. That's how he kept busy.

And then there's the days where it all goes wrong and you get f**k all, Long hrs for less than brilliant money if you work for a boss or constantly worrying where your next job is coming from working for yourself.

I'm lucky. I have a second income that I don't have to work very hard for - or at least, I can do it whenever I like from home. But I don't think I'd fancy trying to live a plasterers lifestyle with no backup.

That said, they were great lads and it was enjoyable work. Better than being a go-kart marshall.
 
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Djr

Active Member
#7
There the longest plasterers hours I've ever heard of .on site 7 gone at 3 everyday 3.30 the latest
 

Stevieo

Well-Known Member
#8
Good evening gents, your comments are much appreciated.

My son is 28, so it's a late start for sure. To be honest, he's fed up of dead end low paying un-secure jobs.

Basically were holding our heads wondering which way to turn.. I was trying to encourage him to get in to HGV driving, but he's not keen on that sadly. I read many threads here and it sounds a bit bleak tbh, with the occasional success story. So things arent much clearer.

Do you know anyone around the slough area which he could approach for a couple of days work experience?

Thanks.
As it happens, I know a bit about that too, being an HGV driver.

There's plenty work, it's relatively easy to get into and fairly easy to get a start even with no experience.

Salaries vary depending on what type of work you decide you can put up with - from doing something like the dray or Tescos day work (about £22k) to balls out tramping, kipping in the cab for 4/5/even 6 nights a week (£40k)

Up side - it's a proper job that's suitable for feeding wives and children and it's easy work.

Down side is spending a lot of time on your own and not having much of a life if you go for the big money. It's hard on the soul after a bit, living in the services.

My suggestion is to do the HGV and do agency work until some plastering comes in. No hard feelings with the agency if you decide you don't want to come in that week.


Steer clear of class 2 though. s**t work, all days, you have to graft and class 2 drivers are all wankers.
 

Cornelius

Well-Known Member
#9
28 working in a go kart centre, why on earth are you on the forum on his behalf? He should be taking the initiative here? I thought he was a boy school leaver
 

Stevieo

Well-Known Member
#10
28 working in a go kart centre, why on earth are you on the forum on his behalf? He should be taking the initiative here? I thought he was a boy school leaver
My dad took the initiative when I was 16.

Suitcase and a lift to the recruiting office.

28 is still young enough for the parachute regiment, you know. Where all the unwanted children end up.
 

Stevieo

Well-Known Member
#12
I was thinking armed forces actually!
It's not as easy as it was.

25 years ago, they accepted everyone if there was nothing wrong with them, knocked f**k out of you for a few months and sent whoever was left standing at the end to the field army.

They want to see some commitment these days, there's extensive selection and they want to see some self motivation in terms of fitness and such prior to turning up.

But it's still very do-able at 28.
 
#13
It's not as easy as it was.

25 years ago, they accepted everyone if there was nothing wrong with them, knocked f**k out of you for a few months and sent whoever was left standing at the end to the field army.

They want to see some commitment these days, there's extensive selection and they want to see some self motivation in terms of fitness and such prior to turning up.

But it's still very do-able at 28.
There's not much difference between being in the forces and being a plasterer really, either way you've got to be a bit nuts!
 

Danny

Administrator
#14
Artistic is one way to describe TPF :D

Training as a plasterer was one of the best things I have ever learnt it opened doors and I made a good chunk of money

even in the darkest depths of recession there is money to still be made...

ideally finding a local plasterer to have some experience days would be a good insight into the trade... but that can be quite hard to get a start... could go to college... find a good local college would be the key but that is also hard to find good ones these days as well (funding cuts) and teachers teaching who have not got a massive amount experience is not paving the the way to giving students a good clear way into the industry

As far as courses he can do a 10 day course at Goldtrowel... will be a good start to see if he wants to further it as a career and then can progress into further education or finding a firm to join... I also know someone who has just learnt the venetian plaster at GT and is out doing some stunning work and earning some great money...

If I had my time again I would train to be a sparky... I hate them with a passion but its an easy trade to learn and do and people still pay top money for their services and all this signing off nonsense has made that trade into a cash machine :D
 
#15
Thanks guys for the great info.

I accept your critisism about doing this for my son. The fact is we moved back to the UK about a year ago after living in Cyprus for many years. We went there for a better life after we got hit by the recession in the late 80's, where we lost it all I'm sad to recall. Cyprus was great until it got very sick in the last few years since it contracted a disease called 'Europe'! So we're pretty confused about which direction to go in.

He did the RAF and Army thing, needs to be here for longer to apply, not that he'll have my blessing tho!

Goldtrowel keeps coming up.... but we were thinking of the 6 week course to get his qualifications, nobody is suggesting that, don't these qualifications matter to a great extent?

Danny's comment about the venetian plaster, is that a specific skill or is it something you'll learn after your basic plastering, is GT offering that?
 
#16
You just can't learn the things at college you'll learn on the job and under an experienced plasterer. Plus you can get your NVQ at work, it's really a simple process and it's government granted through say North West Skills Academy for example. Where as courses are dear and you may as well be learning on the job. If it's something he wants to do as long as he is on time and uses common sense he should find someone willing to take him on. I would personally learn the full trade of plastering before specialising but that's just my opinion
 

Cornelius

Well-Known Member
#18
If I could choose a trade again plumbing and electrics would be up there along with roofing perhaps any trade where the services are required through out a recession
 

Topspread16

Well-Known Member
#19
Get to electricity northwest or Balfour, 5 years there you'll be on good money with company vehicle for next to nothing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Stevieo

Well-Known Member
#28

You work the same as me then.

There are only five times something can have happened in my world.

Today.
Yesterday.
The day before yesterday.
More than three days ago.
And considerably more than three days ago.


For example, Michael Jackson died considerably more than three days ago.

6 months is kind of on the border of more than three days ago and considerably more.
 

stuart23

Private Member
#29
I'd say out of all the trades plastering is probably the hardest physically but the lowest paid, plumbers, sparks and even painters are taking more money. Don't ask me why that is but it seems like it's a race to the bottom with plasterers nowadays, some of the prices getting quoted round my way you wonder how they make money off it. Joiner's and sparks on the other hand seem to value there work more and keep there prices up.
 

Stevieo

Well-Known Member
#30
I'd say out of all the trades plastering is probably the hardest physically but the lowest paid, plumbers, sparks and even painters are taking more money. Don't ask me why that is but it seems like it's a race to the bottom with plasterers nowadays, some of the prices getting quoted round my way you wonder how they make money off it. Joiner's and sparks on the other hand seem to value there work more and keep there prices up.
It's because so many people go on from other things to pick up the trowel.

There's a lot of very unofficial plasterers out there and a lot of them are doing a perfectly good job. Labourers who the plasterers trained up, jobbing builders who do their own plastering and people of that nature.

Sometimes a joiner's mate might go on to become a shuttering joiner or a timber frame erector or something but electricians and plumbers labourers don't go on to become sparkies or plumbers.

Also, it's one of those trades where you can start off with little jobs and take up bigger ones as your confidence grows.
 

Danny

Administrator
#31
You work the same as me then.

There are only five times something can have happened in my world.

Today.
Yesterday.
The day before yesterday.
More than three days ago.
And considerably more than three days ago.


For example, Michael Jackson died considerably more than three days ago.

6 months is kind of on the border of more than three days ago and considerably more.
I dont really know what day it is from day to day... every day is a saturday
 
#32
I'd say out of all the trades plastering is probably the hardest physically but the lowest paid, plumbers, sparks and even painters are taking more money. Don't ask me why that is but it seems like it's a race to the bottom with plasterers nowadays, some of the prices getting quoted round my way you wonder how they make money off it. Joiner's and sparks on the other hand seem to value there work more and keep there prices up.
Hello mate, Thanks for the feedback... With all the comments and kind advice coming in from all the guys here, which we are very grateful for... We are contemplating a basic plastering course, just as an introduction and going down the venetian plastering route immediately afterwards, that stuff is seriously impressive and classy. That's definately something he could offer back in Cyprus to the ego mad Cypriots!!! LOL

I don't mean this as an insult but does anyone look at a plastered wall and admire it (other than other plasterers) but slap some paint on it and it looks amazing, if you get my drift. So if a plastered wall ranges from it'll do, good or excellently plastered, how much difference to the punter does it really make?

Once again thank you all for the advice, I'll update you when I have some news.
 

stuart23

Private Member
#33
Hello mate, Thanks for the feedback... With all the comments and kind advice coming in from all the guys here, which we are very grateful for... We are contemplating a basic plastering course, just as an introduction and going down the venetian plastering route immediately afterwards, that stuff is seriously impressive and classy. That's definately something he could offer back in Cyprus to the ego mad Cypriots!!! LOL

I don't mean this as an insult but does anyone look at a plastered wall and admire it (other than other plasterers) but slap some paint on it and it looks amazing, if you get my drift. So if a plastered wall ranges from it'll do, good or excellently plastered, how much difference to the punter does it really make?

Once again thank you all for the advice, I'll update you when I have some news.
The average punter won't know a decent plastered wall to a rubbish one, that's how I got by.
 
#34
I'm not really in your area so I can't speak as to the market but I can say that plastering is a skill that's useful all over the world. I've done plaster work all over the states as well as a few projects in central and South America. Even if the materials are a bit different knowing how to make mud do what you want will give you job security in many different places. As far as supporting yourself goes I think you can do VERY well at it if that's really your goal but even if you just want to keep it small you can support yourself quite comfortably almost anywhere. (at least everywhere I've lived here in the states.)

I think loving what you do is much more important than making a lot of cash but hating your job. If your son likes it and views it as a craft then getting paid is just a bonus.

Venetian Plaster is beautiful but I think knowing how to take walls from studs to Venetian Plaster makes one a well rounded tradesman. I've met a lot of Venetian plasterers who call themselves 'master applicators' and couldn't skim a wall to save their lives. There are so many aspects to the trade you get to pick one or maybe a few that suit you. It keeps things fresh and exciting. Always more to learn and ways to improve.
 
#35
I don't mean this as an insult but does anyone look at a plastered wall and admire it (other than other plasterers) but slap some paint on it and it looks amazing, if you get my drift. So if a plastered wall ranges from it'll do, good or excellently plastered, how much difference to the punter does it really make?

Once again thank you all for the advice, I'll update you when I have some news.
Most don't notice unless you do something a little out of the ordinary. Venetian plaster (real Venetian as in lime based plaster not that acrylic stuff) always gets the Oooooos and ahhhhhs but you can accomplish similar things with different techniques using normal plaster.

Plaster here is a little different but we regularly tint the plaster or seal it with a colored wax to get a unique look. It's not for everybody but if they like it telling them they don't have to paint justifies a bigger price and makes you stand out from the crowd and is miles better than typical drywall finish. (which is the 'standard' here)

Here are a few examples of what I mean. No paint on these walls. Tinted plaster with a texture and the brownish one has tinted wax. No corner bead so all hand formed corners for that old fashioned look. Last one is Venetian Plaster walls and standard plaster ceiling with custom molding for comparison.

All the best in your search. Just make sure he enjoys the work and the rest will come.
 

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